A team of six, from Uganda Youth and Adolescents Health Forum-(UYAHF) pitched camp at Reach a Hand Uganda –(RAHU) in a sharing and learning benchmarking engagement aimed towards effective communication and policy implementation strategies.
The team included; Patrick Mwesigye -the Team leader, Sam Okulony -the advocacy and campaign manager, Ian Kikomeko, Emma Oketcho, Lillian Nayebare, and Hans Mulindwa, The change champions at UYAHF.
The highly participatory and informative activity was geared towards bridging the existing gaps and challenges the two organizations face mainly in communications, advocacy, and policy implementation strategies.
“A strong and vibrant organization is a reflection of a motivated and dedicated team behind it, both in office, at an event, or off work. It is this self-drive that eases every single piece of work hence the growth of an organization” Says Patrick Mwesigye, UYAHF team leader.
One of the major areas of concern was tracking impact for the work organizations undertake in communities, most of which are never documented and shared with the people or development partners or for self-assessment
Gilbert Beyamba, the chief of staff at RAHU implored participants to always reflect on the probable outcomes of every activity before investing in it. Stressing that it is this impact, however little it may be that justifies the organization’s relevancy.
“Before you invest in any activity, always think of the ‘SO WHAT’ question. If this cannot be answered by you, then it is not worth your time”.
Other key pointers of the engagement included; website management, social media management, and updating, use of Google based online tools for mainly internal communication and flexibility purposes, strategic communication plan with its evaluation and feedback channels as well as a content calendar
“Do very many people know that having a content calendar is a must-have basic tool? Asked Batambuze-(Bata) Rhetorically.
He pleaded with the team to scale up media relations as they are key partners in society.
“Always engage the media in whatever that we do, media relations is such a powerful approach every organization needs to invest in. otherwise, it becomes hard for an organization to penetrate into their space when you are a stranger”
The two teams shared success stories from some of their projects their as an example tracking progress stories. UYAHF shared its youth hub achievements as RAHU’s side boasted of its peer educators program, of which both projects aim to improve and empower young people.